Have you often heard the words “Core Strength” and> just assumed it’s a fancy way of talking about your abs? Well in a way it is, but it is also so much more than that. Our core is our body’s power house. It includes not only the abs but the whole middle section of our torso. Whilst the inner and> outer abdominals do play a large part, it also includes so many other muscles. Our pelvic floor, obliques, erector spinae and> even our glutes to a smaller degree all play their part.

People think of their core as just the abdominals. They focus solely on exercises that work these. Think crunches and> sit ups, which is only part of the story. Plus sit ups and> crunches are not the best way to train the abdominals. These exercises put undue strain on your spine. We really need to focus on working all the muscles of the core. Think of building a strong foundation for your body.

A strong core can not only help with sporting or gym based activities but also with everyday tasks. Everything from squatting to bending down to tie your shoe laces can be improved. Furthermore having a strong core also helps with balance. The main stabiliser in the body, improving strength in this area means you are able to hold yourself steadier. Again not only in sport but everyday activities, basically you are less likely to fall over!

One of the major benefits of core strength however is the reduced likelihood of lower back pain. Strengthening the whole of this area, including the erector spinae (the muscles in the back), will help improve your posture and> reduce the risk of lower back pain developing. Improving your posture could also help with body image and> confidence. You will be holding yourself better and> this can make us feel better in ourselves, as we look taller and> more streamlined.

Make sure you include some core training (not just abs!) in your training schedule, and> see the improvements in all areas of your training, and> life. I would love to know your favourite core exercises, and> look out for my YouTube video on Sunday with a full core workout.